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Cox-Johnson, Bloomington, IL 1988

1. e4, c5

The Sicilain Defense.

2. Nf3, d6

3. d4, cxd4

4. Nxd4, Nf6

5. Nc3, Nc6

This is the Main Line of the Sicilan Defense. Black plans counterplay down the half-open c-file.

6. Bc4

The Sozin Attack. White hopes to exploit the a2-g8 diagnol and along with f2-f4 play for a kingside attack. The Sozin and the Morra are my two main weapons versus the Sicilian.

6...Qb6

GM Pal Benko's challenging idea. The alternative is the immediate 6...e6.

7. Nb3

Also playable is 7. Nbd5 and 7. Nde2.

7...e6

Forming a pawn barrier.

8. 0-0, Be7

9. Be3, Qc7

10. f4

The standard Sozin plan of development.

10...0-0

Nothing should be wrong with this simple developing move. Stronger however is 10...a6 when 11. a4, d5! 12. exd5, Nb4 is equal or 11. Bd3, b5 12. Qf3, Bb7 with chances for both sides.

11. Bd3

Tempting is 11. Nb5!? in order to take advantage of blacks failure to play ...a6 on move 10.

11...a6

Stopping such notions.

12. Qf3, Nb4!?

Black attempts to wrest the initiative by forcing white to retreat with loss of tempo.

13. Rad1!

NO retreat. 13 Be2?! is passive and gives black the initiative.

13...Nxd3

Black gains the minor exchange of knight for bishop in order to obtain the bishop-pair.

14. Rxd3

The rook lift fits into my plan for a kingside attack.

14...Bd7

15. g4!?

This pawn advance is double-edged. I will try to over-run and storm the black castled position. The drawback is whites kingside is also weakened in the process.

15...e5!?

A central strike is the theoretical way to counter a flank attack. However, this idea is not convincing in the current position. In my view Black should try 15...b5 intending..b4 and ...Rc8 with traditional Sicilian counterplay down the half open c-file.

16. g5, Ng4

Black is going to fight it out on the kingside this offers practical chances and fits his defensive risk taking style.

17. Bc1, f5!?

A radical defense that offers intense complications that are not easy for either side to see all the ramifications of. But is it a correct defense?

18. h3

This move asks that question.

18...fxe4

19. Nxe4, Qxc2

20. hxg4, Bxg4!

21. Qxg4, Qxd3

Black has a rook and two pawns for two minor pieces which is approximately equal but the pieces are more valuable in the middle game fight that is forthcoming.

22. f5!

A good look at the position now reveals that black has not, as he intended, relieved whites kingside pressure. The white pawn duo of 'f' and 'g' pawns, supported by whites pieces still offer a strong attack on blacks castles position.

22...d5

Black is still trying to fight back in the center, but his vulnerable kingside makes it difficult.

23. Nec5, Qb5

24. Ne6

The e6 square makes for a powerful outpost for this knight, putting incredible pressure on the black castled position.

24...Qb6+

25. Kg2, Rfc8

26. f6, Rc2+

27. Kh1!

Simplest.

27...Bf8

Trying to find a defense. 27...Rc4 is better but whites position is still over-whelming.

28. f7+!, Kh8

29. g6!

This finishes black!

29...Rf2

Other moves were no better

30. Rd1, h6

31. Bxh6!

Black Resigns.

1-0

Mate cannot be stopped.